This is a big loss for the Senate, but there’s a potential upside that’s even bigger.
State Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, El Paso’s tireless adovcate for the poor and underpriveleged, announced today that he will not be running for re-election in 2010.
“While other public service may lie ahead, I will not run for the Texas Senate in 2010,” Shapleigh said in a statement. “In public life, especially in Texas during this decade, doing what’s right, not what’s expedient is what matters. I am grateful to the people who elected me for the opportunity to serve.”
Sen. Shapleigh was and is a strong progressive voice, one of the more incisive critics of Rick Perry and the Republican leadership. His voice will definitely be missed, and as Greg notes, there’s a nonzero chance that seat could flip, especially post-redistricting. Just another thing to worry about.
So what’s the upside? Shapleigh might be gearing up for a statewide run, perhaps for Lite Guv. That would be awesome and a shot of adrenaline for the Democratic activist base. Via BOR, Brandi Grissom says on Twitter that we’ll know within three weeks, and that he’s not looking at Congress. I can’t imagine he’d be interested in the US Senate at this point, so that leaves state government, and Lite Guv seems like the best fit. Unfortunately, Shapleigh is not exactly a moneybags – he’d have to step up the fundraising PDQ to make such a race more than a quixotic one. But we can hope, and that’s what I’m hoping for right now. Postcards and Burka have more.
UPDATE: No, no, not Governor. We have enough candidates for Governor. We need a strong candidate for Lite Governor. C’mon, Sen. Shapleigh, you know you want to run the upper chamber!